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Chapter 6: Joy Is the Criterion

“I don’t know why you don’t sack your secretary,” said one. “Her typing is atrocious and she spends more time on your private phone than you do. Take away her gorgeous hair, her beautiful eyes, her sensuous lips, her lovely figure, and what have you got?”

The other businessman grunted and said, “My wife.”

Beware. Don’t go on dropping symbols otherwise nothing will be left.

Yes, that is the highest peak; get ready for it. Symbols will help you to reach that highest peak, but if you drop them right now you will never reach to that height. One has to move up a staircase. When one has reached the top one has to leave the staircase. But if you leave at the very beginning you will remain on the bottom floor. Symbols are to be left only when you have come to see the non-symbolic, not before that. Otherwise you will remain very low - somewhere crawling on the earth.

Once you have symbolism it gives a vision to your life, a style. Then you are not haphazard, then you become an order, you are not a chaos. Then things start crystallizing inside you and everything starts gaining a significance - your life has a direction, you have a sense of direction.

“In the synagogue I heard men praying,” said the puzzled young boy. “It must be awfully hard for God.”

“Why?” asked the rabbi gently.

“The woodcutter was praying for cold weather.”

“Naturally,” said the rabbi. “He makes his living cutting wood for our stoves. The colder it is, the more wood he sells.”

“But the fruit-seller prayed for mild weather.”

“Well,” said the rabbi, “he stores autumn fruit to sell in winter. Severe cold would freeze his stored fruit.”

“The farmer prayed for rain and the brick-maker for dry weather. They are all godly men: how does God know how to answer all their prayers?”

“How is the weather now?” asked the rabbi.

“Dry and mild.”

“And last week?”

“Let me see. On Monday and Tuesday it rained and on Thursday it was cold.”

“See?” said the rabbi.

Once you have a symbol you can see. Then God is fulfilling everybody’s needs: someday it is raining, someday it is dry, someday it is hot, someday it is cold - God is fulfilling everybody’s desires.